The Inn Collection Group
Standardises on TP-Link’s
Omada Platform for a Great
3x SSID Indoor & Outdoor coverage Captive portal
To deliver seamless connectivity across The Inn Collection pubs, restaurants and hotels for essential back-office applications, point of sale and guest wireless solutions to optimise the customer experience.
Total connectivity solution provided by Centurion Computers including, configuration, installation and proactive remote network management via the Omada cloud controller.
Mission-critical solution providing reliable connectivity for point of sale, back office functions and guest connectivity to optimise the customer experience.
Implementation Partner and Managed Services Partner
A Warm Welcome from The Inn Collection Group
What makes the perfect pub? Great ales, good food, an inviting atmosphere and the warmest of welcomes. At its 35 hostelries, mainly in the north of England, The Inn Collection Group proudly stays true to its pub roots, creating Inns where everyone wants to eat, drink, sleep, and explore from. Terrific customer service delivered by a loyal team is key to the Group's success, fuelling its growth, with more carefully chosen new sites acquired and renovated every year. Head of IT, Martyn Hepple oversees technology and digital provision across the entire estate from the company's head office in Benton, Newcastle. He explains how TP-Link’s cloud-managed Omada solution underpins The Inn Collection's high hospitality service standards.
Reliable, Secure, Seamless Wi-Fi in Historic Buildings
Connectivity is essential. The business relies on a secure wireless connection to take customer order, process payments and day to day back-office activities essential for the pub’s smooth operations. ‘Free’ customer Wi-Fi is considered to be a standard service, especially for overnight guests so they have buffer-free access to streaming services from Smart TVs and their own devices.
"We need a versatile and reliable Wi-Fi solution for our business-TP-Link does everything we need at an excellent price, with all the features you'd expect from a business solution. "
Head of IT, The Inn Collection Group
Mission Critical Connectivity
"For us, there are two key requirements," says Martyn. "On the business operations side, our card terminal devices rely on strong and consistent connectivity, indoors and outdoors. Without Wi-Fi, we couldn't take card payments or use our iServe mobile devices that mirror the tills for taking orders. So good coverage is essential.”
Great Wi-Fi is the Secret Sauce
"Then there are the needs of guests. In our guest bedrooms and our restaurants, adults use their phones, kids watch their tablets and guests work or stream entertainment on their laptops. We want to give every guest the best possible connectivity while making sure their data and ours are secure."
Cost is an important consideration for The Inn Collection, but reliability is paramount. Martyn has deployed other brands with a higher price tag without seeing any significant additional value."I’ve worked with most business Wi-Fi solution providers and the TP-Link Omada range has all the features we need at a better price than other brands. We need a versatile cloud networking solution so Centurion Computers can provide a remote IT support service to all our sites and Omada not only provides reliable Wi-Fi 6 coverage inside and out, but the remote management console means we stay online all the time."
Essential Cloud-Based Back Office Systems
"We're a streamlined business, so I try to keep things as straight forward as possible," says Martyn. "Most of our systems are cloud-based, so Wi-Fi is essential for day-to-day operations. We have a guest network, a corporate network and a staff network. For security, we don't want guests using the same network as the one we use for card payments and our EPOS system."
Seamless Wi-Fi Coverage for Ordering and Payment Solutions
Most Inn Collection locations are pubs with guest rooms, operating three or four handheld EPOS devices. Waiting staff may also use iPads for taking orders. Head office employees also need internet access for laptops when visiting locations within the estate. To ensure the quality of service for the business-critical EPOS machines, back-office operations and provide a dedicated guest network Centurion Computers created 3 SSID ensuring all three, distinct user groups get great wireless coverage. The guest network uses captive portal technology to provide guests with access to the Wi-Fi and provide valuable permission-based data to The Inn Collection marketing team to build relationships with existing customers.
Omada - The Strategic Solution
Centurion Computers provides IT support services to The Inn Collection including remote network management. Martyn made the strategic decision to standardise on the Omada platform to streamline purchasing and maintenance across the estate. As new locations are purchased or existing locations need upgrading, Centurion develops the specifications, sources the equipment then installs and configures the network. "We rely on Centurion for fixes and support. Standardising on Omada means we have a consistent baseline across all our sites making it easier to manage. Mixing and matching vendors across the estate makes life harder for everyone."
Real-Time Network Performance Stats
Centurion is also responsible for the ongoing maintenance and management of The Inn Collection's networks. The Omada Cloud-Based Controller gives Centurion real-time performance statistics across the whole estate as well as remote access to gateways, switches and access points enabling the team to change configurations and reboot individual devices remotely, therefore, maintaining a reliable network connection for guests and employees.
Future Proofed Wi-Fi Solution
Peter Knowles is the Managing Director at Centurion Computers, The Inn Collection's trusted partner for IT support. For new site installations, Peter's team preconfigures all of the equipment and then sets up the TP-Link access points on-site. "It's a quick and easy process," he comments."Day to day, we use the Omada Cloud-Based Controller to manage sites, remotely change settings and monitor hardware. Both on the app and the website, it's fully featured and easy to use. We get notifications by email and on the portal about any issues, with details of when, where and what so we can address them before the pub or its customers even notice there's a fault. Omada is critical to our ability to deliver our SLAs. It's a great solution for anyone who needs to keep their network running smoothly."
Excellent Wi-Fi for Great Reviews
The TP-Link access points are secure and reliable for high-density environments, providing continuous access for servers and guests. Martyn adds, "Demand for Wi-Fi in the pub and restaurant fluctuates with the season and is generally used for checking the web or streaming YouTube on a tablet for young children. In contrast, where there are guest rooms, we need to maximise capacity, so guests get the best possible streaming experience. We see it again and again; bad Wi-Fi generates bad reviews so it’s really important to get it right."
"The customer experience is key in hospitality and ‘free’ Wi-Fi is expected as standard. If the wireless is down for any reason, we soon get complaints. We’ve found that the alerts and performance dashboards within the Omada cloud controller means our off-site IT support team can tweak a configuration or reboot individual access points before staff or customers even notice."
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